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Tamdar, The Rapid Update Cycle, and The Great Lakes Fleet Experiment


The TAMDAR (Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting) sensor (Daniels et al., 2004) is designed to measure winds, temperature, humidity, turbulence, and icing from regional commercial aircraft. These data are downlinked via satellite to a ground-based processing center and are generally available to users within one minute of actual measurement. The sensor was developed in response to a need to provide data in regions not currently covered by the Meteorological Data Collection and Reporting System (MDCRS) (Moninger et al., 2003). MDCRS provides data from six major airlines, primarily above 30,000 ft, and below that near major airports. TAMDAR, by contrast, will provide data primarily below 25,000 ft and at regional airports. AirDat LLC ( of Raleigh, NC and Evergreen, CO designed the sensor, under contract with the NASA Langley Research Center. TAMDAR sensors will be installed on 64 turboprop Saab 340 aircraft (Fig. 1.) by Fall 2004. These aircraft, operated by Mesaba airlines (dba Northwest Airlink) will report data for a six month period called the Great Lakes Flight Experiment. We will receive these data at NOAA’s Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL), make them available to eligible users in a variety of ways (discussed below), compare them with data from other sources such as radiosondes and profilers, and ingest them into the publicly available Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) data assimilation and forecast system (Benjamin et al., 2004a).

Article / Publication Data
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Fiscal Year
Published On
January 01, 2004

This publication was presented at the following:

11th Conf. on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology
American Meteorological Association
Conference presentation


Not available


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.

  • Edward J. Szoke - Not Positioned Gsl
    Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University
    NOAA/Global Systems Laboratory